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Filtering by Category: Vitamins & Minerals

Ginger: the superfood you're forgetting about

Lisa Eberly

Remember when everyone was obsessing over kale? Well, I think ginger is the next kale. 

I put ginger in everything I can. It is a superfood that is super good for you and has amazing benefits I bet ya didn't know about! 

Ginger root has been used as a spice and herbal medicine for thousands of years in Asian, Indian, and Arabic traditions. Ginger root contains a ton of bioactive compounds, including gingerol, shogaol, and terpene volatile oils, with a variety of beneficial pharmacologic effects. 

A lot of people aren't into ginger because it has a super strong flavor, but the flavor is actually thanks to the volatile oils and phenol compounds that researchers think are what gives ginger its amazing medicinal properties.

Ginger has proven time and time again to be an anti-inflammatory food. Inflammation is one of the root causes of several chronic diseases and many day-to-day ailments, such as sore muscles, bloating, skin problems, and fatigue. Basically, preventing or reducing systemic inflammation is what we want. Eating ginger, an anti-inflammatory food, helps us do this. 

Ginger is also known to have strong antioxidant properties, which may also contribute to its health benefits. Many diseases and general aging is in part caused by oxidation within our body. That's why consuming antioxidants (and helping our body produce its own antioxidants!), like ginger, is so important: to prevent aging and disease. 

Preliminary research even suggests that ginger may also have hypoglycemic effects. This could help keep your blood sugar in check, particularly if you have or are at risk for diabetes.* 

So, ginger is pretty much a triple threat to aging and disease: it's an anti-inflammatory antioxidant that also lowers blood sugar! 

It's really easy to add some ginger to your favorite recipes. Just mince up some fresh peeled ginger and toss it into your favorite stir fry, rice/pasta dish, or entree! I'll be sharing some recipes with ginger soon, including a 15-minute homemade butternut squash risotto! 

*MINOR Interaction with Diabetes Medications: Be watchful with this combination. Ginger might increase insulin levels and/or decrease blood glucose levels, and could theoretically have an additive effect with diabetes medications and cause hypoglycemia. 

Photos by Tania Arceo

Vitamin D-lightful

Lisa Eberly


Okay, so I know this is nerdy but I’m super proud of how punny that title is. (Get it?! vitamin D comes from light! Delightful! Hahahaha okay I’m done.)

Seattle has officially begun Fall. It is GRAY. Daily. All day. All week. It’s also getting dark out earlier and staying dark later. A few weeks ago it was sunny all the time, now it’s literally the opposite.

This has a big effect on our vitamin D levels (a major source of vitamin D is sunlight!). In fact, even if you don’t live in Seattle, many people in the world are deficient in vitamin D. According to the CDC, over 25% of the population is vitamin D deficient. So, despite sunny weather, you may be looking at a vitamin D deficiency.

This is because vitamin D isn’t present in many foods. Mushrooms and milk are my go-to recommended foods to get vitamin D, but it can still be difficult to reach ideal levels. (I take it none of you are scarfing down mushrooms all day, right?) 

So this is the time of year that I start taking vitamin D supplements! I swear by these, there’s no way I’d make it through a Seattle fall/winter/spring without them.

What does vitamin D even do & why do you need it?

Vitamin D is required for the regulation of the minerals calcium and phosphorus in the body. It also plays an important role in maintaining proper bone structure. Over time research has linked low vitamin D levels with obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disease, osteoporosis and cancer.

The most important result of vitamin D deficiency, however, is depression.

Studies by Springer, and research results reported in the New England Journal of Medicine and by the Vitamin D Council, are indicating a link to depressionCanadian researchers reviewed 14 studies, consisting of 31,424 participants and found a strong correlation between depression and a lack of Vitamin D. This applies to Seasonal Affective Disorder as well, which many Seattilites suffer from.

So, my favorite vitamin company, Vita Optimum, has great vitamin D supplements. Their vitamin D in particular is made from organic extra virgin olive oil and has zero fillers or preservatives. Super, super high quality! However, you can also get vitamin D supplements at your local drug store or grocery store.

How much vitamin D do you need? 

The average person who is not already deficient in vitamin D needs 1000 IUs daily. 

You need a blood test to determine if you are deficient and then a dietitian to determine your vitamin D regimen to fix that. But, since that's unrealistic (and unnecessary) for most of you to do, I like to recommend 2000 IUs daily. Why? Because that's not a large enough dose to realistically be toxic the average healthy person and it's enough to boost your current levels, which are probably low.